Rain or shine, Saturday’s 27-hole Cap Sante Challenge disc golf tournament waged on.
The tournament, the first of its kind in Anacortes, drew 24 competitors from around the area. It’s something volunteers who maintain the Rotary Park Disc Golf Course have been working toward to help grow the sport and improve the course, organizer Aaron Bryant said.
Disc golf is scored and played much like traditional golf, except instead of hitting a ball with a club, participants throw a disc. And in the case of the Anacortes course, the game is played up the side of Cap Sante, which requires light hiking from hole to hole and accurate throws to avoid trees.
On Saturday, families and solo players from Anacortes and as far as Puyallup headed into the woods with packs full of discs to compete.
“This course is great, lots of tight shots,” Ryan Klassen said. “It’s a good use of the land.”
Klassen of Bellingham was paired with Kelly and Lee Tolle, a father and son duo from Puyallup and Everett. The Tolles brought much of their family for the event, which they said is a family interest.
At the root of the course is family. Bryant, who took second in the tournament, spends his time maintaining and playing the course with his 11-year-old son Colin, who ended up tying for fourth in the tournament. The two spent the days leading up to the tournament making sure the course was in the best shape possible with help from volunteer Colby Bayley.
The three have been maintaining the course year round to keep it playable and safe for everyone who plays, or walks through the course, which was established in 2014.
Establishing the course also has resulted in the removal of invasive ivy on the trees. Long, thick, but very much dead stretches of ivy can still be seen twisted around many of the trees that dot the course, but no signs of the living plant remain. It took a while for the volunteers’ efforts to take effect, but the result is an improved park and course, Bryant said.
Taking first place at the tournament was Barry Webb of Mount Vernon. Webb estimates he plays between 10-12 tournaments a year and even landed a sponsorship from Fear No Basket, a disc golf apparel company. He said the course is one of his favorites already.
“It’s more technical. You have to be more precise with your throws,” he said.
Webb ended the three rounds with a cumulative score of 74 and won a disc golf backpack and growler from Rockfish Grill.
Each player got to take home a custom Cap Sante Challenge disc for participating.